Procedure for filing work permit application
Aliens may file their work permit applications inside or outside Turkey by filling out the relevant forms and attaching the accompanying documents. The applications should be filed with Turkish missions abroad, and the Labor and Social Security Ministry inside Turkey.
Foreigners are required to file their applications with the Turkish mission in either their native or residence country. The relevant mission first reviews the application and then forwards it to Labor and Social Security Ministry along with its own assessment.
Foreigners who obtained a work permit for employment in Turkey are required to request a visa within 90 days and a residence permit within 30 days after their entrance into Turkey. Without a visa and residence permit, a work permit will not be valid.
If the foreigner holds a non-expired residence permit of at least six months, he or she or their employer may file work permit application directly with the ministry. However foreigners who are in Turkey for study purposes are not considered in this category. Even if they have a six month residence permit, they have to file their work visa with the relevant Turkish mission.
The Labor and Social Security Ministry reviews the work permit applications and responds the permit requests within 90 days of the filing of the application after consultations with other relevant public and professional institutions.
In its review the ministry considers the information in the application forms, duration of the residence and work permit, the general conditions in the relevant market, recent developments in labor environment, economic and geographic conjectural changes regarding employment and the relevant documents that would justify employment of an alien instead of a naturalized person, specifically a reference letter, acceptance letter or other certifications in the light of periodical reports prepared by the Turkish Labor Agency.
The duration of the work permit cannot exceed the duration of labor contract or the relevant business itself.
With the condition that they notify the Labor and Social Security Ministry, the Office of Prime Minister, Health Ministry, Defense Ministry, Foreign Trade Undersecretariat and Higher Education Council may grant work permits within their areas of competence. Likewise, ministries and other public institutions may employ foreign personnel within the authorities recognized to them, provided that they notify the Labor Ministry of the relevant employment.
Important complementary element to a work permit: The residence permit
Issuance of a passport and/or a visa does not directly grant the right to reside in Turkey. Likewise, a work permit obtained by foreigners seeking employment in Turkey does not mean anything. The possessor of the permit should additionally obtain a residence permit to acquire the right to work in Turkey.
Foreigners with a valid work permit are required to request a visa within 90 days after the issuance of the permit and residence permit within 30 days after entrance into Turkey — this may be extended to three months subject to the availability of a bilateral agreement. The residence permit is issued by Interior Ministry Security General Directorate Provincial Units.
To obtain a residence permit, foreigners are required to obtain a visa from the Turkish mission based in their native country and declare how they will ensure their economic survival.
In addition to a petition undersigned by the foreigner seeking employment, the following supplementary documents should also be submitted to the Provincial Security General Directorate’s Aliens Unit:
Work permit (original and one copy)
Declaration form (to be obtained from Security Directorate and to be filled by a typewriter), to be submitted in four copies
Four photos (passport size)
Following the submission of the above documents, a temporary residence permit that will be valid for three months will be immediately granted. This temporary document is handed to the neighborhood administrator, who will record the foreigner based on the document. Upon the expiration of this provisional document an extension may be requested. The maximum residence period is two years, which can be extended through application to be filed at least 15 days before expiration.
Spouses and children may be recorded on the same residence permit. However every foreigner seeking employment should have a separate residence permit on his or her name. Those whose mother or father are a Turkish citizen are given a five-year residence permit. Similarly, a minor below 18 whose for mother or father is staying in Turkey with a residence permit is allowed to stay with his or her parents during their residence period.
Citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) are not required to obtain a residence permit. Upon their request, they are granted residence up to five years subject to the validation period of their passports. KKTC citizens have the same rights as Turkish citizens including those regarding residence, employment, possession of property and economic and social rights.